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#76 Just Start Somewhere

You might think you haven't sustained much trauma in your life. In this episode, we'll talk about the difference between "big T" and "little T" trauma so you know the difference and how to address yours.


What you'll learn is that everyone has experienced some form of trauma in their lives, and we have so much shit (some literal, some figurative) stored in our bodies that we don't even realize.

Just pick one thing to work on... just start somewhere, and it doesn't matter where. I made all my relationships better by working on myself.

In this episode, I will also share the power of somatic exercises and the impact doing these exercises has had on easing years of trauma that I accumulated in my own body.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about working with me as your coach.

"It doesn't matter where you start. In fact, it's often best to start with the easiest thing first to show your brain, what a motherfucking adaptable badass you are."

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • How focusing on one area of self-improvement can positively affect other parts of life

  • Understanding the impact of different types of trauma

  • Learning about somatic exercises and how they can help heal trauma

  • Real-life examples of my clients and my own personal achieved transformations

"Anything my clients or I have achieved is completely possible for you, too, which is why I'm so passionate about sharing these things."

Mentioned in this episode:

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if coaching with me is the right fit for you. Join me on a powerful journey to become your favorite you.

Listen to the full episode:

Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intentions. My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend.

If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Well, hi there! Welcome back to Your Favorite You. Recently, it came up in my Your Favorite You group, where one of the amazing women has in her words, quote-unquote, so many things to work on. And she was confused about where to start. I offered to her that this confusion was just her brain's way of wanting to keep the status quo because her life is actually pretty good.

So of course, her brain was thinking that she really didn't have to change and what better way to distract her than to offer her all the things she needed to work on? I suggested this because now after working with so many women and after being a coaching client myself for over six years, maybe we just pick one thing to start and watch all the other things that matter to her, that she wants to work on just get better just by working on just that one, starting with just that one.

And then of course, when she feels complete with the first thing, or like she's got good traction there, we can move on to the next one thing at a time. And it doesn't matter where you start. In fact, it's often best to start with the easiest thing first to show your brain, what a motherfucking adaptable badass you are.

I am so grateful to my 2017 self for wanting to work on my weight. That is where I started with his coaching journey. I had tried so many things in the past and I had gained and lost and gained and lost the same weight over so many years. It turns out that my weight had some, but very little to do with what I was eating and how much I was exercising and way more to do with my thoughts about me and my body.

I really am so glad I just started there. It doesn't matter where you start. I promise. Just start working on your relationship with yourself because I was able to work on my relationship with me, my relationship with my hubby got exponentially better, and my relationship with Jack and Owen improved by leaps and bounds.

I was able to find a second vocation that I absolutely adore. I was able to leave my work as a pediatrician while still loving being a pediatrician. I mean, on most days, let's be real. Some days as a pediatrician suck, just like some days as a life coach suck. I ventured out into this unknown world as an entrepreneur, which of course has its ups and downs and loop the loops.

I've made so many incredible friends in the life coaching industry. I've worked with people literally all over the world. I have personally coached hundreds of women. I've been asked to be a guest coach and to instruct other people's coaching programs. I started this podcast. I've healed my heart from the grief from my dad, dying way too young.

And like I said, on a previous podcast, I have a better relationship with him than ever. I have fostered deep and lasting changes in the lives of the women who have chosen to work with me. And I have learned so much about trauma and the human side. And now six years later, I've actually started doing some somatic work to heal the trauma in my own body.

This is going to be a huge aside, but this is my podcast, so I get to do what I want. So, you might be like me and think, I don't know that I've sustained much trauma in my life. We are the lucky ones, my friends if we are questioning if we have sustained trauma. The people who have sustained what is called big T trauma know it.

These are things like child abuse, physical, emotional, sexual abuse, sexual assault, living through or fighting in a war, and being neglected by a caregiver at a young age. Sustained bullying, typically when you live through these types of traumas, you know, it, most of us who've been affected by trauma have more subtle stories.

One of my mentors, Dr. Kemia Sarraf, who will be on the podcast soon to talk with me about trauma says that the penetrance of trauma is a hundred percent. I don't know if that's her quote, or if she was quoting someone else. We'll have to ask her when she's on the podcast. But anyway, that means that every adult roaming the planet Earth right now has experienced some form of trauma.

For me, I can't remember most of the time that I was in college, med school, residency, or early motherhood. So, I know that my brain has blocked a lot of that time to keep me safe. We all have trauma, some big T and some little T from living through the coronavirus pandemic. I also have trauma from watching and hearing the news here in the United States between 2016 and 2020.

So anyway, in order to heal myself, I have committed to a 90-day program by this woman. Her name is Liz. I started following on Instagram. She goes by the handle, the workout, which we can link her IG page in the show notes. I don't get anything. If you sign up to do one of her 30 or 90-day programs, she has no idea who I am.

But I am loving my results so far. I'm about two weeks into the daily gentle somatic exercises. And I feel like I am releasing so much of the shit that has been stored in my body for the past 30 years. I just know it is going to help me with the seemingly random aches and pains that I have in my body.

One week, it's clavicle pain. The next week, it's the opposite shoulder pain. The next week, it is piriformis tightness, which if you're not a doc or a physical therapist, your piriformis is a small but vital muscle in your ass. The next week, it's eyelid twitching. The next, it's wrist pain. The next week, it's plantar pain.

You get the idea. My body has been begging me to pay attention to her with these random coming and going pains and I'm finally giving it the attention it deserves. In the first week, as I was laying on my bed doing the exercises, yes, you do most of these exercises on the bed or on the floor. My brain offered me a thought for my body and the thought was, this is what we've been waiting for.

It sounds crazy because it is. Interestingly, doing these exercises is making me want to move my body in other ways too. So, I've been doing yoga and walking more, and I've even added lifting weights back into my routine. And I feel so good anyway, I will keep you posted and if you decide to join me and the workout, which let me know your experience, I would love to hear from you.

Okay. All that to say that it doesn't matter where you start. I started wanting a different body. I did all the shit in between that needed to be done. And now six years later, I'm circling back to wanting a different relationship with my body to giving her what she deserves. The beauty of working with someone like me as a general life coach is that you get to bring anything and everything to me to work on together.

I was coaching my client, Sandy. This is a different Sandy than the Sandy that I've interviewed on the podcast and that you guys all know and love. But I was coaching her the other day and she marveled, Melissa, I don't know how you do it. On one call, we're coaching on my business. The next call we're coaching on my back pain, the following week we're coaching on my son and then we're talking to my belly and then we laughed and laughed.

She and I have really been all over the place, which I love. We've worked on her anger and frustration. We've worked on her recognizing how fucking smart she is and all that she's contributed already to her field. She also happens to be a coach who had never worked with a general life coach like me. The school where we both trained emphasizes the importance of niching down and only working with a specific client on a specific part of their life or their business.

And she says working with me has blown that thought right out of the water for her. So that's so fun. Another of my clients, Jen, sent me a beautiful message a couple of weeks ago titled, Melissa Love. I am sharing her message here with her permission. She said, she titled it, Results. And I'm going to list off all the things that she said.

So, she said, I feel closer to my teens while being less over-involved, intrusive, and hypervigilant, no more fricking AP world history homework with three exclamation points. They can be their own people with different values and ideas than me. And we can still be close and loving. I'm not taking their negative reactions.

So personally, I have healthy boundaries. A better relationship and a happier home. Her next point, I have also been more able to allow my husband slash partner to parent differently than me without my jumping into quote unquote, correct him. She then says I am more aware for my partner. She shared that my partner started his own coaching journey after being on the sidelines for years.

I am so excited for him and for us. And yes, it is totally hot because I was sharing with her how hot I find it that Jon is working on himself and getting coaching. She says, I finally healed a 25-year estrangement with my sibling. I could cry tears of relief and joy just typing this. I navigated my dad's death with grace lower stress and minimal drama.

I navigated helping a family friend through breast cancer and dementia without freezing and overwhelmed. I have goal clarity. I fired an employee long overdue and rebuilt a major part of my business. She then shares less buffering, the longest time without eating ice cream since I was 18. I used to be a pint-a-day person and let me share.

This is totally news to me. Jen and I have never once talked about ice cream, which is so fun. She says 15-pound weight loss. I'm getting the skills to get out of compulsive people pleasing, being able to see it without hating myself and shaming myself. I am getting self-advocacy clarity, getting better at knowing what I want, and asking for it more confidence.

She says, I went after a seemingly impossible wish and got it. I am appreciating and liking my body more. Small boobs, gray hair, big arms, and all. I'm cute. She is so cute. I'm getting through financial downs with more ease and not catastrophizing. I'm starting to look and feel a lot more like the favorite me that felt elusive for so long.

And of course, there's more. I'll keep at it. The logging of it all. Love, Jen. Listen here, my beloved Your Favorite You listeners. Jen is not some unicorn. Sandy is not a unicorn. I am certainly not a unicorn. You just have to pick a place and start. By the way, if me sharing about my amazing clients makes you feel any shame or sadness or frustration or resentment, please do not do that to yourself.

I share these amazing stories to inspire you, never to make you feel bad. I truly feel that anything my clients or I have achieved is completely possible for you too, which is why I'm so passionate about sharing these things. As I was formulating the idea for this podcast on my way to getting my haircut, the universe dropped a podcast on me.

I was listening to the We Can Do Hard Things Podcast, which I've talked about ad nauseum on my own podcast because I love it so much. In this episode, Abby, Amanda, and Glennon were talking to the psychologist, Lindsey C. Gibson. She's been on several of their episodes now, and I have enjoyed everyone.

She's talking in this episode about the differences between emotional immaturity and emotional adulthood. And Dr. Gibson was responding to a caller who was feeling, frankly, being neglected by her partner. And she said that figuring out what this client wanted was that she actually wanted and what it is that she needed to feel safe in her life is a very productive use of her time.

She said, recognize that you are capable of change. In fact, only you can change yourself and invest in yourself. Which is a very worthy project. It helps you do better in all areas of your life. I could not agree more. Dr. Gibson, for those of you interested, this was actually episode number 284. She's also on episode 264.

And 285, which I'm off to go listen to right now. I hope this episode helps you see the possibility that is available to you right now, just by having the courage to get started and get on my mailing list. If you're not there already by going to Melissa Parsons, coaching. com, scroll to the bottom of the homepage, input your name and email address, and click subscribe.

Now, this way you will be one of the first to know all of the different ways you can work with me. Also, if you're loving the podcast, I would love you forever if you would share it with a friend and I would love you forever and ever. If you took a minute or five to write a review of the podcast on Apple podcast or Spotify or wherever you're listening, the more reviews we have, the easier it is for beautiful humans like yourself to find the show.

Thank you so much for listening. I want to hear from you. Tell me you're ready to get started. Okay, folks, see you next week.

Hey, everybody, don't go quite yet. I want to let you know all the ways that you can work with me.

If you've been listening to this podcast and maybe especially you have listened to episodes where I interview my clients, and you are thinking like the older woman in the diner in the classic Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal film, When Harry Met Sally... In the film, Sally is proving a point to Harry by faking an orgasm while in public at a diner. Sally finishes, so to speak, and then takes a bite of her food. The older woman in the next booth says, "I'll have what she's having." If you've been thinking, "I'll have what she's having," this is your sign from the universe to schedule a consult with me.

I have a few spots available for one-on-one coaching with me. This is a space where I am laser focused on you and your brain for six months at a time. I will also be doing consults with women who want to join my next group coaching cohort, which will likely start in the spring of 2024. The way to contact me is to go to my website,, go to the Work with Me page and click book now to schedule your consult. I will look forward to hearing from you. Let's make 2024 your year ever as you become Your Favorite You.



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